It takes on average 12 years for people to get a diagnosis for Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, a group of 13 conditions affecting tissue connectivity. Symptoms vary, though joint hypermobility and skin hyperextensibility are prevalent within all types, which can lead to scarring, dislocated joints, and chronic pain.
Aurora Partridge, one half of music duo Tem-ple, was recently diagnosed with EDS after a decade of trying to get answers. Tem-ple penned a Christmas charity single to bring attention to the issue, but realised they would need a campaign to get the word out, so they approached branding agency WMH&I to help drive awareness of the release and of EDS in general.
The Super Flexible Not Superhuman campaign developed by the agency takes an unconventional approach to illustrating EDS. The images shot by Kristina Varaksina feature Partridge along with other people who live with EDS, but they have been skewed by CGI studio Pop Creative to reflect the toll it takes on people’s bodies.
The typography echoes the concept, with type foundry Dalton Maag customising one of its existing typefaces to create an “ultra-stretched” cut. The images have also been used in the record design for the duo’s single, as well as in a dedicated microsite about the initiative and EDS.
“I had no idea what would happen when we reached out to agencies, but WMH&I have been brilliant, taking our idea so much further than we could’ve hoped, and creating these amazing images which give visual expression of the pain I’ve lived with for so long,” says Partridge.